Split Rock

click to enlarge
split rock tunnel
Tunnel through Split Rock
Near LaSalle, Illinois

Split Rock got it's name from the time of the building of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. It was a tall limestone, sandstone and dolomite stone obstacle that stood in the way of the canal, so the workers blasted through it - thus the name split rock.

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split rock tunel interior
The Split Rock Tunnel
Original brick lining still in place

As railroads replaced the canal, the Rock Island Railroad cut a tunnel through Split Rock to get their trains through the stone formation. This tunnel remains in Split Rock to this day, but the old tracks and bridge have been removed.

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tracks on fire
The 706 delivering a load of sand to LaSalle

One can still access the tunnel, and from the looks of it, not many people do. It's a 2.5 mile walk from Utica along the I and M Canal Towpath, but well worth it.

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